Palm Springs, centered in the Southern California desert, is far from being a dried-up destination. This city once lured the likes of heartthrob crooner Frank Sinatra and rock 'n' roll legend Elvis Presley. In fact, the King even took up residence here in the late 1960s, honeymooning with Priscilla and later having their daughter, Lisa Marie. In the '60s, glamorous piano bars and retro storefronts lined the vibrant streets of the desert town, which is beautifully bookended by the San Jacinto Mountains.
When Elvis and Sinatra left, the city lost some of its spirit. But today, Palm Springs is experiencing a resurgence of sorts. After all, its desert scenery and colorful sunsets are the same as they were 50 years ago. And its pools, spas and nightclubs are attracting a wide swath of travelers, from seniors to hipsters to LGBT couples. Plus, the surrounding Coachella Valley has blossomed with interesting things to do, from The Living Desert to the Coachella Valley Preserve. But if you want a true Palm Springs experience, you should take it easy, whether by the pool or in a trendy bar. In short, you won't regret a visit to this California city. If Palm Springs passed muster for the King and Ol' Blue Eyes, then it should be a great mix of fun and relaxation for everyday travelers as well.
The best time to visit Palm Springs is between January and April when the weather is the most hospitable. Fall's temperatures are almost as nice, but unless you love the heat, we wouldn't recommend visiting in the summertime when daily highs regularly reach the triple digits.
Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center
Palm Springs boasts a varied dining scene with options ranging from French to German to vegetarian; you'll find most of these establishments huddled together in the downtown area on North and South Palm Canyon and Indian Canyon drives. Cheeky's is a popular place for breakfast, but be prepared for a wait at this much-beloved restaurant. Casual lunches, meanwhile, are best enjoyed at affordable locales like Bill's Pizza Palm Springs and The Sandwich Spot. You can also pick up fresh, seasonal produce, meats and more at the Coachella Valley Certified Farmers' Market, which is hosted every Saturday at the Camelot Theatres parking lot (from October to May) or the Palm Springs Pavilion (between June and September). Once the sun sets, sit down for a fancy French meal at the top-rated Le Vallauris or dinner and a show at Michael Holmes' Purple Room. Note: Some restaurants close during the summer months, so call ahead for opening hours.
The best way to get around Palm Springs is by car. Although you can walk most places downtown, you'll need your own wheels to explore the rest of the Coachella Valley. You can also take the bus to reach certain destinations throughout the city and beyond, or you can always hire a taxi. The easiest way to get from Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) – located 3 miles east of downtown Palm Springs – is to hop in a taxi or rent a car and drive.See details for Getting Around
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